What would higher-ed reform actually look like? How far down the chain do we need reform? I invite my readers to comment and perhaps we can put together some sort of outline for reforming higher education.
I know that most of the scambloggers and their readers are lawyers or law students, so first and foremost on our minds are things like dischargability of student loan debt, and transparency in the claims made by law schools. But the subprime student loan issue seems like the tip of a systemic iceberg.
We all recognize that a high school diploma is essentially worthless, a mere prerequisite to a college degree, which is almost equally worthless. Should higher ed reform start from the bottom?
If, as a nation, we recognized the perverse nature of our education system, shouldn’t we start with requiring high schools to teach to a higher standard? To teach practical skills, in addition to college prep? My rural high school had a trade school component, which I looked down upon as a college bound student. In retrospect, I wish I had taken some of those classes and had learned some kind of manual skill. If students acquired real skills in high school, perhaps this foolhardy suggestion that everyone needs a college degree would dissipate.
Universities also churns out a lot of worthless grads, particularly in the liberal arts and social sciences. How can public policy remedy this? Eliminate government backed loans for under performing students? Requiring schools to justify their programs to a government agency?
I think that we all recognize that the problem we encounter in the legal profession is a symptom of a system that is tainted, and that taint starts at the very bottom. I welcome your suggestions; let’s make this a conversation.